It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

17 August 2011

WORDS Affect Identity – pt. 7

12:01 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
Post 7 of 9

David can’t seem to catch a break with encouraging words!  How would you like to live in his shoes?  We lie to ourselves when we say that words do not hurt us, or at least discourage us, because they do.  And, David had his fair share of discouragement from the words of all types of people.  It seemed no one believed in him!  Then again, we don’t expect an enemy to believe in us.  I don’t think David expected Goliath to believe in him, especially since Goliath had been walking out to bad-mouth people every day.  But, don’t you think it had to sting a little when Goliath wasn’t even intimidated?  Especially to be told that “your flesh will be given to birds and beasts”? 

Imagine.  You are ready to defeat a giant.  You have prayed and prepared your heart for battle.  You are nervous, but you are ready.  Then, you stand up and face the giant.  The giant takes one look at you and says, “Really?!  This is all you’ve got?!”  That’s definitely not a confidence booster.  I want you to get this picture in your head:  David is standing there with a stick, a slingshot, and some stones in his bag—nothing else.  Yet, Goliath’s words do not shake David’s identity.  That’s courage, borderline stupidity.

I wonder if David thought, “Are you kidding me?!  You, too?!”  This has to be getting old for David and maybe for you, too.  Don’t allow the words of enemies (bullies) to affect your identity in a negative way.  I don’t know why people feel like it’s their life’s mission to speak negative words to us, but they do.  I have them, too.  It’s easier to say than it is to do, but don’t allow the words of enemies (bullies) to affect your identity in a negative way. 

There are countless stories of people who are bullied as a kid reaching a breaking point.   That breaking point might look different, but it’s meant to call attention and cease the bullying.  It might be putting the bully’s head through a sheet-rock wall, punching the bully in the face until it’s a bloody pulp, or losing it and letting words fly like a sailor.  Whatever it looks like, the message is sent loud and clear, “Don’t mess with me anymore!”  When the breaking point is reached, the bullied may learn, though faulty, the tactic worked – it breeds fear and intimidation.  Suddenly, the powerless seems powerful and could become a comfortable way of protecting against hurt. 

I’ve seen it and talked to people who have experienced it.  Intimidation and fear are ways of gaining respect.  As an adult, the bullied is now defined as a mean, non-intimate tough person.  A negative situation as a kid may shape the identity of the bullied to disconnect and become less trusting.  The attitude that may develop from the words of bullies (enemies) could negatively shape an identity and possibly undermine life.  David could have turned out this way too, but he didn’t.  He didn’t allow the words of enemies (bullies) to affect his identity in a negative way.  You don’t have to either!  Thirty years later, if you still hold onto words, you might struggle with letting go.